Summer Grilling Safety

When the warmer weather hits, there’s nothing better than the smell of food on the grill.  Unfortunately, that good smell can turn to bad if that grill catches on fire. 

Seven out of every 10 adults in the U.S. have a grill or smoker, which translates to a lot of tasty meals. But it also means there’s an increased risk of home fires. 

July is the peak month for grill fires (17%), followed by May (14%), June (14%), and August (13%). 

Recent statistics show gas grills were involved in an average of 7,900 home fires per year, including 3,300 structure fires and 4,700 outdoor fires each year. Leaks or breaks were primarily a problem with gas grills.  Twelve percent of gas grill structure fires and 24% of outside gas grill fires were caused by leaks or breaks. 

Charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were involved in 1,300 home fires per year, including 600 structure fires and 700 outside fires annually. 

In 2012-2016, an average of 16,600 patients per year went to emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills.  Half (8,200 or 49%) of the injuries were burns. 

Children under five accounted for an average of 1,600 or one-third (35%) of the 4,500 thermal non-fire grill burns.These burns typically occurred when someone, often a child, bumped into, touched or fell on the grill, apart of the grill, or hot coals. 

While gas grills cause more home fires than charcoal grills, your Euclid Fire Department reminds everyone that all types of grills pose a risk for fires and burn injuries. According to the report, over one-quarter (27 percent) of home grill fires started on an exterior balcony or open porch, another 27 percent started in a courtyard, terrace or patio, and eight percent began in the kitchen. 

“As friends and families get ready for the grilling season, make sure the grill is working properly, and review safety tips,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy for NFPA. “The leading causes of home grilling fires are failing to properly clean the grill or having a flammable object too close to the grill. It’s also important to check the grill for damage before using it for the first time each year, and then to check it regularly.” 

Here’s a few YouTube videos to help with grilling safety. 

Please remember, Euclid Codified Ordiance 1575.07 states, “No person shall kindle or maintain a fire to be used for the preparation of food or for any other purpose in any type of outdoor controlled burning device or portable grill in any apartment or on or below any apartment house balcony or within twenty feet of any structure housing more than two families.” 

Happy (and Safe) Grilling!

Jeff McDaniel

Working in the City of Euclid for 29 years as a Firefighter, Paramedic, Fire Safety Inspector and Fire Investigator.

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 10:36 AM, 05.05.2019